Here are a few suggestions of diverse and stimulating disabled friendly places to visit in Northern England.
National Media Museum
Situated in Bradford, West Yorkshire, the National Media Museum is an exciting celebration of still and moving images, incorporating fields such as film, television and photography. The museum allows full mobility access via elevators and ramps, welcomes assistance dogs and uses aids such as large text and Braille. Many staff members are qualified in British Sign Language. Both the Cubby Broccoli Cinema and the famous IMAX Giant Screen are accessible to mobility impaired visitors, although you are recommended to save extra time when using the alternative entry to the IMAX. The IMAX has the facilities to seat nine wheelchair users per screening.
Walker Art Gallery
Liverpool is one of the country’s richest cities for museums and galleries, having its own Tate and plenty of other venues for contemporary art including the Ceri Hand Gallery. The Walker Art Gallery looks further into history, with a vast collection of Pre-Raphaelite works and Victorian paintings. There are also sculptures and pieces such as the marble Tinted Venus. Many options are available for children and families. Disability access is very good, and the website features detailed instructions on travel such as the Merseylink dial-a-ride service for people who have difficulty using public transport.
Imperial War Museum North
Manchester’s Imperial War Museum North is a visually arresting building filled with images and artefacts related to war’s affects on British people since World War One. The museum offers sixteen disabled parking spaces, signed and guided tours, Induction Loop Systems for the hard of hearing, and admits assistance dogs. A number of special exhibitions are constantly changing to allow for greater variety, and these can be found on their website or in their brochures.
Laing Art Gallery
Located in Newcastle, the Laing Art Gallery is a renowned historic art gallery that features a Designated Collection of national importance. Mixed in with impressive older pieces are new works in fields like modern sculpture and printmaking. The venue provides events and resources for people with learning disabilities, Induction Loops, full wheelchair access and large print guides to many exhibitions.
Beamish, The North of England Open Air Museum
Beamish in County Durham is a unique open air museum that aims to show visitors what the urbanised North was like at the beginning of the 20th century in terms of work, architecture, equipment, and transport. Animals, working vehicles and actors all bring the period to life. This means there are multiple touchable exhibits, plus plenty of events catering for a range of disabilities. Due to period detail some buildings only have stepped access, but Audio Visual Screens can provide recordings of these exhibits. Induction Loops are installed in many places and Braille information is available.